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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsMilitary Memoirs Of Capt. George Carleton - Part 5
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Military Memoirs Of Capt. George Carleton - Part 5 Post by :maxrijen Category :Nonfictions Author :Daniel Defoe Date :May 2012 Read :2775

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Military Memoirs Of Capt. George Carleton - Part 5

The Nunnery stood upon a small rising Hill within the Town; and to obtain the View, the Earl had presently in his Head this Stratagem; he sends for me, as Engineer, to have my Advice, how to raise a proper Fortification upon that Hill out of the Nunnery. I waited upon his Lordship to the Place, where declaring the Intent of our coming, and giving plausible Reasons for it, the Train took, and immediately the Lady Abbess, and the fair Lady, came out to make Intercession, That his Lordship would be pleas'd to lay aside that Design. The divine Oratory of one, and the beautiful Charms of the other, prevail'd; so his Lordship left the Fortification to be the Work of some future Generation.

From _Huette the Earl of _Peterborow march'd forwards for _Valencia_, with only those fourscore Dragoons, which came with him from _Chincon_, leaving General _Windham pursuing his own Orders to join his Forces to the Army then under the Command of the Lord _Galway_. But stopping at _Campilio_, a little Town in our Way, his Lordship had Information of a most barbarous Fact committed that very Morning by the _Spaniards_, at a small _Villa_, about a League distant, upon some _English Soldiers.

A Captain of the _English Guards (whose Name has slip'd my Memory, tho' I well knew the Man) marching in order to join the Battalion of the Guards, then under the Command of General _Windham_, with some of his Soldiers, that had been in the Hospital, took up his Quarters in that little _Villa_. But on his marching out of it, next Morning, a Shot in the Back laid that Officer dead upon the Spot: And as it had been before concerted, the _Spaniards of the Place at the same Time fell upon the poor, weak Soldiers, killing several; not even sparing their Wives. This was but a Prelude to their Barbarity; their savage Cruelty was only whetted, not glutted. They took the surviving few; hurried and dragg'd them up a Hill, a little without the _Villa_. On the Top of this Hill there was a Hole, or Opening, somewhat like the Mouth of one of our Coal-Pits, down this they cast several, who, with hideous Shrieks and Cries, made more hideous by the Ecchoes of the Chasm, there lost their Lives.

This Relation was thus made to the Earl of _Peterborow_, at his Quarters at _Campilio_; who immediately gave Orders for to sound to Horse. At first we were all surpriz'd; but were soon satisfy'd, that it was to revenge, or rather, do Justice, on this barbarous Action.

As soon as we enter'd the _Villa we found that most of the Inhabitants, but especially the most Guilty, had withdrawn themselves on our Approach. We found, however, many of the dead Soldiers Cloaths, which had been convey'd into the Church, and there hid. And a strong Accusation being laid against a Person belonging to the Church, and full Proof made, that he had been singularly Industrious in the Execution of that horrid Piece of Barbarity on the Hill, his Lordship commanded him to be hang'd up at the Knocker of the Door.

After this piece of military Justice, we were led up to the fatal Pit or Hole, down which many had been cast headlong. There we found one poor Soldier alive, who, upon his throwing in, had catch'd fast hold of some impending Bushes, and sav'd himself on a little Jutty within the Concavity. On hearing us talk _English he cry'd out; and Ropes being let down, in a little Time he was drawn up; when he gave us an ample Detail of the whole Villany. Among other Particulars, I remember he told me of a very narrow Escape he had in that obscure Recess. A poor Woman, one of the Wives of the Soldiers, who were thrown down after him, struggled, and roared so much, that they could not, without all their Force, throw her cleaverly in the Middle; by which means falling near the Side, in her Fall she almost beat him from his Place of Security.

Upon the Conclusion of this tragical Relation of the Soldier thus saved, his Lordship gave immediate Orders for the Firing of the _Villa_, which was executed with due Severity: After which his Lordship march'd back to his Quarters at _Campilio_; from whence, two Days after, we arriv'd at _Valencia_, Where, the first Thing presented to that noble Lord, was all the Papers taken in the Plunder of his Baggage, which the Duke of _Berwick had generously order'd to be return'd him, without waste or opening.

It was too manifest, after the Earl's arrival at this City, that the Alteration in the Command of the _English Forces, which before was only receiv'd as a Rumour, had deeper Grounds for Belief, than many of his Friends in that City could have wish'd. His Lordship had gain'd the Love of all by a Thousand engaging Condescensions; even his Gallantries being no way prejudicial, were not offensive; and though his Lordships did his utmost to conceal his Chagrin, the Sympathy of those around him made such Discoveries upon him, as would have disappointed a double Portion of his Caution. They had seen him un-elated under Successes, that were so near being unaccountable, that in a Country of less Superstition than _Spain_, they might almost have pass'd for miraculous; they knew full well, that nothing, but that Series of Successes had pav'd a Passage for the General that was to supersede him; those only having removed all the Difficulties of his March from _Portugal to _Madrid_; they knew him the older General; and therefore not knowing, that in the Court he came from, Intrigue was too often the Soul of Merit, they could not but be amazed at a Change, which his Lordship was unwilling any body should perceive by himself.

It was upon this Account, that, as formerly, he treated the Ladies with Balls, and to pursue the Dons in their own Humour, order'd a _Tawridore or _Bull-Feast_. In _Spain no sort of public Diversions are esteemed equal with this. But the Bulls provided at _Valencia_, not being of the right Breed, nor ever initiated in the Mysteries, did not acquit themselves at all masterly; and consequently, did not give the Diversion, or Satisfaction expected. For which Reason I shall omit giving a Description of this Bull-Feast; and desire my Reader to suspend his Curiosity till I come to some, which, in the _Spanish Sense, were much more entertaining; that is, attended with much greater Hazards and Danger.

But though I have said, the Gallantries of the General were mostly political at least very inoffensive; yet there happen'd about this Time, and in this Place, a piece of Gallantry, that gave the Earl a vast deal of Offence and Vexation; as a Matter, that in its Consequences might have been fatal to the Interest of King _Charles_, if not to the _English Nation in general; and which I the rather relate, in that it may be of use to young Officers, and others; pointing out to them the Danger, not to say Folly, of inadvertent and precipitate Engagements, under unruly Passions.

I have said before, that _Valencia is famous for fine Women. It indeed abounds in them; and among those, are great Numbers of Courtezans not inferior in Beauty to any. Nevertheless, two of our _English Officers, not caring for the common Road, however safe, resolv'd to launch into the deeper Seas, though attended with much greater Danger. Amours, the common Failing of that fair City, was the Occasion of this Accident, and two Nuns the Objects. It is customary in that Country for young People in an Evening to resort to the Grates of the Nunneries, there to divert themselves, and the Nuns, with a little pleasant and inoffensive Chit-chat. For though I have heard some relate a World of nauseous Passages at such Conversations, I must declare, that I never saw, or heard any Thing unseemly; and therefore whenever I have heard any such from such Fabulists, I never so much wrong'd my Judgment as to afford them Credit.

Our two Officers were very assiduous at the Grates of a Nunnery in this Place; and having there pitch'd upon two Nuns, prosecuted their Amours with such Vigour, that, in a little time, they had made a very great Progress in their Affections, without in the least considering the Dangers that must attend themselves and the Fair; they had exchang'd Vows, and prevail'd upon the weaker Vessels to endeavour to get out to their Lovers. To effect which, soon after, a Plot was lay'd; the Means, the Hour, and every thing agreed upon.

It is the Custom of that Nunnery, as of many others, for the Nuns to take their weekly Courses in keeping the Keys of all the Doors. The two Love-sick Ladies giving Notice to their Lovers at the Grate, that one of their Turns was come, the Night and Hour was appointed, which the Officers punctually observing, carry'd off their Prey without either Difficulty or Interruption.

But next Morning, when the Nuns were missing, what an Uproar was there over all the City? The Ladies were both of Quality; and therefore the Tidings were first carry'd to their Relations. They receiv'd the News with Vows of utmost Vengeance; and, as is usual in that Country, put themselves in Arms for that Purpose. There needed no great canvassing for discovering who were the Aggressors: The Officers had been too frequent, and too publick, in their Addresses, to leave any room for question. Accordingly, they were complain'd of and sought for, but sensible at last of their past Temerity, they endeavour'd, and with a great deal of Difficulty perfected their Escape.

Less fortunate were the two fair Nuns; their Lovers, in their utmost Exigence, had forsaken them; and they, poor Creatures, knew not where to fly. Under this sad Dilemma they were taken; and, as in like Offences, condemn'd directly to the Punishment of _immuring_. And what greater Punishment is there on Earth than to be confin'd between four narrow Walls, only open at the Top; and thence to be half supported with Bread and Water, till the Offenders gradually starve to Death?

The Earl of _Peterborow_, though highly exasperated at the Proceedings of his Officers, in compassion to the unhappy Fair, resolv'd to interpose by all the moderate Means possible. He knew very well, that no one Thing could so much prejudice the _Spaniard against him, as the countenancing such an Action; wherefore he inveigh'd against the Officers, at the same time that he endeavour'd to mitigate in favour of the Ladies: But all was in vain; it was urg'd against those charitable Intercessions, that they had broke their Vows; and in that had broke in upon the Laws of the Nunnery and Religion; the Consequence of all which could be nothing less than the Punishment appointed to be inflicted. And which was the hardest of all, the nearest of their Relations most oppos'd all his generous Mediations; and those, who according to the common Course of Nature should have thank'd him for his Endeavours to be instrumental in rescuing them from the impending Danger, grew more and more enrag'd, because he oppos'd them in their Design of a cruel Revenge.

Notwithstanding all which the Earl persever'd; and after a deal of Labour, first got the Penalty suspended; and, soon after, by the Dint of a very considerable Sum of Money (a most powerful Argument, which prevails in every Country) sav'd the poor Nuns from immuring; and at last, though with great Reluctance, he got them receiv'd again into the Nunnery. As to the Warlike Lovers, one of them was the Year after slain at the Battle of _Almanza_; the other is yet living, being a Brigadier in the Army.

While the Earl of _Peterborow was here with his little Army of great Hereticks, neither Priests nor People were so open in their superstitious Fopperies, as I at other times found them. For which Reason I will make bold, and by an Antichronism in this Place, a little anticipate some Observations that I made some time after the Earl left it. And as I have not often committed such a Transgression, I hope it may be the more excusable now, and no way blemish my Memoirs, that I break in upon the Series of my Journal.

_VALENCIA is a handsome City, and a Bishoprick; and is considerable not only for the Pleasantness of its Situation and beautiful Ladies; but (which at some certain Times, and on some Occasions, to them is more valuable than both those put together) for being the Birth-place of Saint _Vincent_, the Patron of the Place; and next for its being the Place where _Santo Domingo_, the first Institutor of the _Dominican Order had his Education. Here, in honour of the last, is a spacious and very splendid Convent of the _Dominicans_. Walking by which, I one Day observ'd over the Gate, a Figure of a man in stone; and near it a Dog with a lighted Torch in his Mouth. The Image I rightly enough took to intend that of the Saint; but inquiring of one of the Order, at the Gate, the Meaning of the Figures near it, he very courteously ask'd me to walk in, and then entertain'd me with the following Relation:

When the Mother of _Santo Domingo_, said that Religious, was with Child of that future Saint, she had a Dream which very much afflicted her. She dreamt that she heard a Dog bark in her Belly; and inquiring (at what Oracle is not said) the Meaning of her Dream, she was told, _That that Child should bark out the Gospel (excuse the Bareness of the Expression, it may run better in _Spanish_; tho', if I remember right, _Erasmus gives it in _Latin much the same Turn) _which should thence shine out like that lighted Torch_. And this is the Reason, that wherever you see the Image of that Saint, a Dog and a lighted Torch is in the Group.

He told me at the same time, that there had been more Popes and Cardinals of that Order than of any, if not all the other. To confirm which, he led me into a large Gallery, on each Side whereof he shew'd me the Pictures of all the Popes and Cardinals that had been of that Order; among which, I particularly took Notice of that of Cardinal _Howard_, great Uncle to the present Duke of _Norfolk_. But after many _Encomiums of their Society, with which he interspers'd his Discourse, he added one that I least valu'd it for; That the sole Care and Conduct of the Inquisition was intrusted with them.

Finding me attentive, or not so contradictory as the _English Humour generally is, he next brought me into a fair and large Cloister, round which I took several Turns with him; and, indeed, The Place was too delicious to tire, under a Conversation less pertinent or courteous than that he entertain'd me with. In the Middle of the Cloister was a small but pretty and sweet Grove of Orange and Lemon-trees; these bore Fruit ripe and green, and Flowers, all together on one Tree; and their Fruit was so very large and beautiful, and their Flowers so transcendently odoriferous, that all I had ever seen of the like Kind in _England could comparatively pass only for Beauty in Epitome, or Nature imitated in Wax-work. Many Flocks also of pretty little Birds, with their chearful Notes, added not a little to my Delight. In short, in Life I never knew or found three of my Senses at once so exquisitely gratify'd.

Not far from this, Saint _Vincent_, the Patron, as I said before, of this City, has a Chapel dedicated to him. Once a Year they do him Honour in a sumptuous Procession. Then are their Streets all strow'd with Flowers, and their Houses set off with their richest Tapestries, every one strives to excel his Neighbour in distinguishing himself by the Honour he pays to that Saint; and he is the best Catholick, as well as the best Citizen, in the Eye of the _religious_, who most exerts himself on this Occasion.

The Procession begins with a Cavalcade of all the Friars of all the Convents in and about the City. These walk two and two with folded Arms, and Eyes cast down to the very Ground, and with the greatest outward Appearance of Humility imaginable; nor, though the Temptation from the fine Women that fill'd their Windows, or the rich Tapestries that adorn'd the Balconies might be allow'd sufficient to attract, could I observe that any one of them all ever mov'd them upwards.

After the Friars is borne, upon the Shoulders of twenty Men at least, an Imagine of that Saint of solid Silver, large as the Life; It is plac'd in a great Chair of Silver likewise; the Staves that bear him up, and upon which they bear him, being of the same Metal. The whole is a most costly and curious Piece of Workmanship, such as my Eyes never before or since beheld.

The Magistrates follow the Image and its Supporters, dress'd in their richest Apparel, which is always on this Day, and on this Occasion, particularly sumptuous and distinguishing. Thus is the Image, in the greatest Splendor, borne and accompany'd round that fine City; and at last convey'd to the Place from whence it came: And so concludes that annual Ceremony.

The _Valencians_, as to the Exteriors of Religion, are the most devout of any in _Spain_, though in common Life you find them amorous, gallant, and gay, like other People; yet on solemn Occasions there shines out-right such a Spirit as proves them the very Bigots of Bigotry: As a Proof of which Assertion, I will now give some Account of such Observations, as I had time to make upon them, during two _Lent Seasons, while I resided there.

The Week before the _Lent commences, commonly known by the Name of _Carnaval Time_, the whole City appears a perfect _Bartholomew Fair; the Streets are crouded, and the Houses empty; nor is it possible to pass along without some Gambol or Jack-pudding Trick offer'd to you; Ink, Water, and sometimes Ordure, are sure to be hurl'd at your Face or Cloaths; and if you appear concern'd or angry, they rejoyce at it, pleas'd the more, the more they displease; for all other Resentment is at that time out of Season, though at other times few in the World are fuller of Resentment or more captious.

The younger Gentry, or Dons, to express their Gallantry, carry about them Egg-shells, fill'd with Orange or other sweet Water, which they cast at Ladies in their Coaches, or such other of the fair Sex as they happen to meet in the Streets.

But after all, if you would think them extravagant to Day, as much transgressing the Rules of common Civility, and neither regarding Decency to one another, nor the Duty they owe to Almighty God; yet when _Ash-Wednesday comes you will imagine them more unaccountable in their Conduct, being then as much too excessive in all outwards Indications of Humility and Repentance. Here you shall meet one, bare-footed, with a Cross on his Shoulder, a Burden rather fit for somewhat with four Feet, and which his poor Two are ready to sink under, yet the vain Wretch bears and sweats, and sweats and bears, in hope of finding Merit in an Ass's Labour.

Others you shall see naked to their Wastes, whipping themselves with Scourges made for the Purpose, till the Blood follows every Stroke; and no Man need be at a Loss to follow them by the very Tracks of Gore they shed in this frentick Perambulation. Some, who from the Thickness of their Hides, or other Impediments, have not Power by their Scourgings to fetch Blood of themselves, are follow'd by Surgeons with their Lancets, who at every Turn, make use of them, to evince the Extent of their Patience and Zeal by the Smart of their Folly. While others, mingling Amour with Devotion, take particular Care to present themselves all macerated before the Windows of their Mistresses; and even in that Condition, not satisfy'd with what they have barbarously done to themselves, they have their Operators at hand, to evince their Love by the Number of their Gashes and Wounds; imagining the more Blood they lose, the more Love they shew, and the more they shall gain. These are generally Devoto's of Quality; though the Tenet is universal, that he that is most bloody is most devout.

After these Street-Exercises, these ostentatious Castigations are over, these Self-sacrificers repair to the great Church, the bloodier the better; there they throw themselves, in a Condition too vile for the Eye of a Female, before the Image of the Virgin _Mary_; though I defy all their Race of Fathers, and their infallible holy Father into the Bargain, to produce any Authority to fit it for Belief, that she ever delighted in such sanguinary Holocausts.

During the whole Time of _Lent_, you will see in every Street some Priest or Frier, upon some Stall or Stool, preaching up Repentance to the People; and with violent Blows on his Breast crying aloud, _Mia Culpa, mia maxima Culpa_, till he extract reciprocal Returns from the Hands of his Auditors on their own Breasts.

When _Good Friday is come they entertain it with the most profound Show of Reverence and Religion, both in their Streets and in their Churches. In the last, particularly, they have contriv'd about twelve a-Clock suddenly to darken them, so as to render them quite gloomy. This they do to intimate the Eclipse of the Sun, which at that time happen'd. And to signify the Rending of the Vail of the Temple, you are struck with a strange artificial Noise at the very same Instant.

But when _Easter Day appears, you find it in all Respects with them a Day of Rejoicing; for though Abstinence from Flesh with them, who at no time eat much, is not so great a Mortification as with those of the same Persuasion in other Countries, who eat much more, yet there is a visible Satisfaction darts out at their Eyes, which demonstrates their inward Pleasure in being set free from the Confinement of Mind to the Dissatisfaction of the Body. Every Person you now meet greets you with a _Resurrexit Jesus_; a good Imitation of the primitive Christians, were it the real Effect of Devotion. And all Sorts of the best Musick (which here indeed is the best in all _Spain_) proclaim an auspicious Valediction to the departed Season of superficial Sorrow and stupid Superstition. But enough of this: I proceed to weightier Matters.

While we lay at _Valencia_, under the Vigilance and Care of the indefatigable Earl, News was brought that _Alicant was besieg'd by General _Gorge by Land, while a Squadron of Men of War batter'd it from the Sea; from both which the Besiegers play'd their Parts so well, and so warmly ply'd them with their Cannon, that an indifferent practicable Breach was made in a little time.

_Mahoni commanded in the Place, being again receiv'd into Favour; and clear'd as he was of those political Insinuations before intimated, he now seem'd resolv'd to confirm his Innocence by a resolute Defence. However, perceiving that all Preparations tended towards a Storm, and knowing full well the Weakness of the Town, he withdrew his Garrison into the Castle, leaving the Town to the Defence of its own Inhabitants.

Just as that was doing, the Sailors, not much skill'd in Sieges, nor at all times capable of the coolest Consideration, with a Resolution natural to them, storm'd the Walls to the Side of the Sea; where not meeting with much Opposition (for the People of the Town apprehended the least Danger there) they soon got into the Place; and, as soon as got in, began to Plunder. This oblig'd the People, for the better Security of themselves, to open their Gates, and seek a Refuge under one Enemy, in opposition to the Rage of another.

General _Gorge_, as soon as he enter'd the Town, with a good deal of seeming Lenity, put a stop to the Ravages of the Sailors; and ordered Proclamation to be made throughout the Place, that all the Inhabitants should immediately bring in their best Effects into the great Church for their better Security. This was by the mistaken Populace, as readily comply'd with; and neither Friend nor Foe at all disputing the Command, or questioning the Integrity of the Intention; the Church was presently crouded with Riches of all sorts and sizes. Yet after some time remaining there, they were all taken out, and disposed of by those, that had as little Property in 'em, as the Sailors, they were pretended to be preserv'd from.

The Earl of _Peterborow upon the very first News of the Siege had left _Valencia_, and taken Shipping for _Alicant_; where he arrived soon after the Surrender of the Town, and that Outcry of the Goods of the Townsmen. Upon his Arrival, _Mahoni_, who was block'd up in the Castle, and had experienced his indefatigable Diligence, being in want of Provisions, and without much hope of Relief, desired to capitulate. The Earl granted him honourable Conditions, upon which he delivered up the Castle, and _Gorge was made Governor.

Upon his Lordship's taking Ship at _Valencia_, I had an Opportunity of marching with those Dragoons, which escorted him from _Castile_, who had received Orders to march into _Murcia_. We quarter'd the first Night at _Alcira_, a Town that the River _Segra almost surrounds, which renders it capable of being made a Place of vast Strength, though now of small Importance.

The next Night we lay at _Xativa_, a Place famous for its steadiness to King _Charles_. General _Basset_, a _Spaniard_, being Governor; it was besieg'd by the Forces of King _Philip_; but after a noble Resistance, the Enemy were beat off, and the Siege raised; for which Effort, it is supposed, that on the Retirement of King _Charles out of this Country, it was depriv'd of its old Name _Xativa_, and is now called _San Felippo_; though to this day the People thereabouts much dissallow by their Practice, that novel Denomination.

We march'd next Morning by _Monteza_; which gives Name to the famous Title of Knights of _Monteza_. It was at the Time that Colonel _O Guaza_, an _Irish-man_, was Governor, besieg'd by the People of the Country, in favour of King _Charles_; but very ineffectually, so it never chang'd its Sovereign. That Night we quarter'd at _Fonte dalas Figuras_, within one League of _Almanza_; where that fatal and unfortunate Battle, which I shall give an Account of in its Place, was fought the Year after, under the Lord _Galway_.

On our fourth days March we were oblig'd to pass _Villena_, where the Enemy had a Garrison. A Party of _Mahoni's Dragoons made a part of that Garrison, and they were commanded by Major _O. Rairk an _Irish Officer, who always carried the Reputation of a good Soldier, and a brave Gentleman.

I had all along made it my Observation, that Captain _Matthews_, who commanded those Dragoons, that I march'd with, was a Person of much more Courage than Conduct; and he us'd as little Precaution here, though just marching under the Eye of the Enemy, as he had done at other Times. As I was become intimately acquainted with him, I rode up to him, and told him the Danger, which, in my Opinion, attended our present March. I pointed out to him just before _Villena a jutting Hill, under which we must unavoidably pass; at the turning whereof, I was apprehensive the Enemy might he, and either by Ambuscade or otherwise, surprize us; I therefore intreated we might either wait the coming of our Rear Guard; or at least march with a little more leisure and caution. But he taking little notice of all I said, kept on his round March; seeing which, I press'd forward my Mule, which was a very good one, and rid as fast as her Legs could carry her, till I had got on the top of the Hill. When I came there, I found both my Expectation, and my Apprehensions answered: For I could very plainly discern three Squadrons of the Enemy ready drawn up, and waiting for Us at the very winding of the Hill.

Hereupon I hastened back to the Captain with the like Speed, and told him the Discovery I had made; who nevertheless kept on his March, and it was with a good deal of Difficulty, that I at last prevail'd on him to halt, till our Rear Guard of twenty Men had got up to us. But those joining us, and a new Troop of _Spanish Dragoons, who had march'd towards us that Morning, appearing in Sight; our Captain, as if he was afraid of their rivalling him in his Glory, at the very turn of the Hill, rode in a full Gallop, with Sword in Hand, up to the Enemy. They stood their Ground, till we were advanc'd within two hundred Yards of them, and then in Confusion endeavoured to retire into the Town.

They were obliged to pass over a small Bridge, too small to admit of such a Company in so much haste; their crouding upon which obstructed their Retreat, and left all that could not get over, to the Mercy of our Swords, which spar'd none. However narrow as the Bridge was, Captain _Matthews was resolved to venture over after the Enemy; on doing which, the Enemy made a halt, till the People of the Town, and the very Priests came out to their Relief with fire Arms. On so large an Appearance, Captain _Matthews thought it not adviseable to make any further Advances; so driving a very great flock of Sheep from under the Walls, he continued his March towards _Elda_. In this Action we lost Captain _Topham_, and three Dragoons.

I remember we were not marched very far from the Place, where this Rencounter happen'd; when an _Irish Dragoon overtook the Captain, with a civil Message from Major _O Rairk_, desiring that he would not entertain a mean Opinion of him for the Defence that was made; since could he have got the _Spaniards to have stood their Ground, he should have given him good Reason for a better. The Captain return'd a complimental Answer, and so march'd on. This Major _O Rairk_, or _O Roork_, was the next Year killed at _Alkay_, being much lamented, for he was esteemed both for his Courage and Conduct, one of the best of the _Irish Officers in the _Spanish Service. I was likewise informed that he was descended from one of the ancient Kings of _Ireland_; the Mother of the honourable Colonel _Paget_, one of the Grooms of the Bedchamber to his present Majesty, was nearly related to this Gallant Gentleman.

One remarkable Thing I saw in that Action, which affected and surprised me; A _Scotch Dragoon, of but a moderate Size, with his large basket-hilted Sword, struck off a _Spaniard's Head at one stroke, with the same ease, in appearance, as a Man would do that of a Poppy.

When we came to _Elda (a Town much in the Interest of King _Charles_, and famous for its fine Situation, and the largest Grapes in _Spain_) the Inhabitants received us in a manner as handsome as it was peculiar; all standing at their Doors with lighted Torches; which considering the Time we enter'd was far from an unwelcome or disagreeable Sight.

The next Day several requested to be the Messengers of the Action at _Villena to the Earl of _Peterborow at _Alicant_; but the Captain return'd this Answer to all, that in consideration of the Share that I might justly claim in that Day's Transactions, he could not think of letting any other Person be the Bearer. So giving me his Letters to the Earl, I the next Day deliver'd them to him at _Alicant_. At the Delivery, Colonel _Killigrew (whose Dragoons they were) being present, he expressed a deal of Satisfaction at the Account, and his Lordship was pleased at the same time to appoint me sole Engineer of the Castle of _Alicant_.

Soon after which, that successful General embark'd for _Genoa_, according to the Resolutions of the Council of War at _Guadalaxara_, on a particular Commission from the Queen of _England_, another from _Charles King of _Spain_, and charged at the same time with a Request of the Marquiss _das Minas_, General of the _Portugueze Forces, to negotiate Bills for one hundred thousand Pounds for the use of his Troops. In all which, tho' he was (as ever) successful; yet may it be said without a figure, that his Departure, in a good measure, determin'd the Success of the confederate Forces in that Kingdom. True it is, the General return'd again with the fortunate, Fruits of those Negotiations; but never to act in his old auspicious Sphere: And therefore, as I am now to take leave of this fortunate General, let me do it with Justice, in an Appeal to the World, of the not to be parallel'd Usage (in these latter Ages, at least) that he met with for all his Services; such a vast variety of Enterprizes, all successful, and which had set all _Europe in amaze; Services that had given occasion to such solemn and public Thanksgivings in our Churches, and which had received such very remarkable Approbations, both of Sovereign and Parliament; and which had been represented in so lively a Manner, in a Letter wrote by the King _of Spain_, under his own Hand, to the Queen of _England_, and communicated to both Houses in the Terms following:

Madam, my Sister,

I should not have been so long e'er I did my self the Honour to repeat the Assurances of my sincere Respects to you, had I not waited for the good Occasion which I now acquaint you with, that the City of _Barcelona is surrendered to me by Capitulation. I doubt not but you will receive this great News with intire Satisfaction, as well, because this happy Success is the Effect of your Arms, always glorious, as from the pure Motives of that Bounty and maternal Affection you have for me, and for every Thing which may contribute to the Advancement of my Interest.

I must do this Justice to all the Officers and common Soldiers, and particularly to my Lord _Peterborow_, that he has shown in this whole Expedition, a Constancy, Bravery, and Conduct, worthy of the Choice that your Majesty has made of him, and that he could no ways give me better Satisfaction than he has, by the great Zeal and Application, which he has equally testified for my Interest, and for the Service of my Person. I owe the same Justice to Brigadier _Stanhope_, for his great Zeal, Vigilance, and very wise Conduct, which he has given Proofs of upon all Occasions: As also to all your Officers of the Fleet, particularly to your worthy Admiral _Shovel_, assuring your Majesty, that he has assisted me in this Expedition, with an inconceivable Readiness and Application, and that no Admiral will be ever better able to render me greater Satisfaction, than he has done. During the Siege of _Barcelona_, some of your Majesty's Ships, with the Assistance of the Troops of the Country, have reduc'd the Town of _Tarragona_, and the officers are made Prisoners of War. The Town of _Girone has been taken at the same time by Surprize, by the Troops of the Country. The Town of _Lerida has submitted, as also that of _Tortosa upon the _Ebro_; so that we have taken all the Places of _Catalonia_, except _Roses_. Some Places in _Aragon near _Sarrogosa have declared for me, and the Garrison of the Castle of _Denia in _Valencia have maintained their Post, and repulsed the Enemy; 400 of the Enemies Cavalry have enter'd into our Service, and a great number of their Infantry have deserted.

This, Madam, is the State that your Arms, and the Inclination of the People have put my Affairs in. It is unnecessary to tell you what stops the Course of these Conquests, it is not the Season of the Year, nor the Enemy; these are no Obstacles to your Troops, who desire nothing more than to act under the Conduct that your Majesty has appointed them. The taking of Barcelona, with so small a Number of Troops, is very remarkable; and what has been done in this Siege is almost without Example; that with seven or eight thousand Men of your Troops, and two hundred Miquelets, we should surround and invest a Place, that thirty thousand _French could not block up.

After a March of thirteen Hours, the Troops climb'd up the Rocks and Precipices, to attack a Fortification stronger than the Place, which the Earl of _Peterborow has sent you a Plan of; two Generals, with the Grenadiers, attack'd it Sword in Hand. In which Action the Prince of _Hesse died gloriously, after so many brave Actions: I hope his Brother and his Family will always have your Majesty's Protection. With eight hundred Men they forc'd the cover'd Way, and all the Intrenchments and Works, one after another, till they came to the last Work which surrounded it, against five hundred Men of regular Troops which defended the Place, and a Reinforcement they had receiv'd; and three Days afterwards we became Masters of the Place. We afterwards attack'd the Town on the Side of the Castle. We landed again our Cannon, and the other Artillery, with inconceivable Trouble, and form'd two Camps, distant from each other three Leagues, against a Garrison almost as numerous as our Army, whose Cavalry was double the Strength of ours. The first Camp was so well intrench'd, that 'twas defended by two thousand Men and the Dragoons; whilst we attack'd the Town with the rest of our Troops. The Breach being made, we prepar'd to make a general Assault with all the Army. These are Circumstances, Madam, which distinguish this Action, perhaps, from all others.

Here has happen'd an unforeseen Accident. The Cruelty of the pretended Viceroy, and the Report spread abroad, that he would take away the Prisoners, contrary to the Capitulation, provok'd the Burghers, and some of the Country People, to take up Arms against the Garrison, whilst they were busy in packing up their Baggage, which was to be sent away the next Day; so that every thing tended to Slaughter: But your Majesty's Troops, entering into Town with the Earl of _Peterborow_, instead of seeking Pillage, a Practice common upon such Occasions, appeas'd the Tumult, and have say'd the Town, and even the Lives of their Enemies, with a Discipline and Generosity without Example.

What remains is, that I return you my most hearty Thanks for sending so great a Fleet, and such good and valiant Troops to my Assistance. After so happy a Beginning, I have thought it proper, according to the Sentiments of your Generals and Admirals, to support, by my Presence, the Conquests that we have made; and to shew my Subjects, so affectionate to my Person, that I cannot abandon them. I receive such succours from your Majesty, and from your generous Nation, that I am loaded with your Bounties; and am not a little concern'd to think that the Support of my Interest should cause so great an Expence. But, Madam, I sacrifice my Person, and my Subjects in Catalonia expose also their Lives and Fortunes, upon the Assurances they have of your Majesty's generous Protection. Your Majesty and your Council knows better than we do, what is necessary for our Conservation. We shall then expect your Majesty's Succours, with an entire Confidence in your Bounty and Wisdom. A further Force is necessary: We give no small Diversion to _France_, and without doubt they will make their utmost Efforts against me as soon as possible; but I am satisfy'd, that the same Efforts will be made by my Allies to defend me. Your Goodness, Madam, inclines you, and your Power enables you, to support those that the Tyranny of France would oppress. All that I can insinuate to your Wisdom, and that of your Allies, is, that the Forces employ'd in this Country will not be unprofitable to the public Good, but will be under an Obligation and Necessity to act with the utmost Vigour against the Enemy. I am,


With an inviolable Affection,
Respect, and most
Sincere Acknowledgment,
Madam, my Sister,
Your most affectionate
Brother,
CHARLES.


And yet, after all, was this noble General not only recall'd, the Command of the Fleet taken from him, and that of the Army given to my Lord _Galway_, without Assignment of Cause; but all Manner of Falsities were industriously spread abroad, not only to dimish, if they could, his Reputation, but to bring him under Accusations of a malevolent Nature. I can hardly imagine it necessary here to take Notice, that afterward he disprov'd all those idle Calumnies and ill-invented Rumours; or to mention what Compliments he receiv'd, in the most solemn Manner, from his Country, upon a full Examination and thorough canvassing of his Actions in the House of Lords. But this is too notorious to be omitted, That all Officers coming from _Spain were purposely intercepted in their Way to _London_, and craftily examin'd upon all the idle Stories which had pass'd tending to lessen his Character: And when any Officers had asserted the Falsity of those Inventions (as they all did, except a military Sweetner or two) and that there was no Possibility of laying any thing amiss to the Charge of that General--they were told, that they ought to be careful however, not to speak advantagiously of that Lord's Conduct, unless they were willing to fall Martyrs in his Cause--A Thing scarce to be credited even in a popish Country. But _Scipio was accus'd--tho' (as my Author finely observes) by Wretches only known to Posterity by that stupid Accusation.

As a mournful Valediction, before I enter upon any new Scene, the Reader will pardon this melancholy Expostulation. How mortifying must it be to an _Englishman_, after he has found himself solac'd with a Relation of so many surprising Successes of her Majesty's Arms, under the Earl of _Peterborow_; Successes that have lay'd before our Eyes Provinces and Kingdoms reduc'd, and Towns and Fortresses taken and reliev'd; where we have seen a continu'd Series of happy Events, the Fruits of Conduct and Vigilance; and Caution and Foresight preventing Dangers that were held, at first View, certain and unsurmountable: to change this glorious Landskip, I say, for Scenes every way different, even while our Troops were as numerous as the Enemy, and better provided, yet always baffled and beaten, and flying before the Enemy till fatally ruin'd in the Battle of _Almanza_: How mortifying must this be to any Lover of his Country! But I proceed to my Memoirs.

_ALICANT is a Town of the greatest Trade of any in the Kingdom of _Valencia_, having a strong Castle, being situated on a high Hill, which commands both Town and Harbour. In this Place I resided a whole Year; but it was soon after my first Arrival, that Major _Collier (who was shot in the Back at _Barcelona_, as I have related in the Siege of that Place) hearing of me, sought me out at my Quarters; and, after a particular Enquiry into the Success of that difficult Task that he left me upon, and my answering all his Questions to satisfaction (all which he receiv'd with evident Pleasure) he threw down a Purse of Pistoles upon the Table; which I refusing, he told me, in a most handsome Manner, his Friendship was not to be preserved but by my accepting it.

After I had made some very necessary Repairs, I pursu'd the Orders I had receiv'd from the Earl of _Peterborow_, to go upon the erecting a new Battery between the Castle and the Town. This was a Task attended with Difficulties, neither few in Number, nor small in Consequence; for it was to be rais'd upon a great Declivity, which must render the Work both laborious and precarious. However, I had the good Fortune to effect it much sooner than was expected; and it was call'd _Gorge's Battery, from the Name of the Governor then commanding; who, out of an uncommon Profusion of Generosity, wetted that Piece of Gossiping with a distinguishing Bowl of Punch. Brigadier _Bougard_, when he saw this Work some time after, was pleas'd to honour it with a singular Admiration and Approbation, for its Compleatness, notwithstanding its Difficulties.

This Work, and the Siege of _Cartagena_, then in our Possession, by the Duke of _Berwick_, brought the Lord _Galway down to this place. _Cartagena is of so little Distance from _Alicant_, that we could easily hear the Cannon playing against, and from it, in our Castle, where I then was. And I remember my Lord _Galway_, on the fourth Day of the Siege, sending to know if I could make any useful Observations, as to the Success of it; I return'd, that I was of Opinion the Town was surrender'd, from the sudden Cessation of the Cannon, which, by our News next Day from the Place, prov'd to be fact. _Cartagena is a small Sea-Port Town in _Murcia_; but has so good an Harbour, that when the famous Admiral _Doria was ask'd, which were the three best Havens in the _Mediterranean_, he readily return'd, _June, July_, and _Cartagena_.

Upon the Surrender of this Place, a Detachment of Foot was sent by the Governor, with some Dragoons, to _Elsha_; but it being a Place of very little Strength they were soon made Prisoners of War.

The Siege of _Cartagena being over, the Lord _Galway return'd to his Camp; and the Lord _Duncannon dying in _Alicant_, the first Guns that were fir'd from _Gorge's Battery, were the Minute-Guns for his Funeral. His Regiment had been given to the Lord _Montandre_, who lost it before he had Possession, by an Action as odd as it was scandalous.

That Regiment had received Orders to march to the Lord _Galway's Camp, under the Command of their Lieutenant-Colonel _Bateman_, a Person before reputedly a good Officer, tho' his Conduct here gave People, not invidious, too much Reason to call it in Question. On his March, he was so very careless and negligent (though he knew himself in a Country surrounded with Enemies, and that he was to march through a Wood, where they every Day made their Appearance in great Numbers) that his Soldiers march'd with their Muskets slung at their Backs, and went one after another (as necessity had forc'd us to do in _Scotland_) himself at the Head of 'em, in his Chaise, riding a considerable way before.

It happened there was a Captain, with threescore Dragoons, detach'd from the Duke of _Berwick's Army, with a Design to intercept some Cash, that was order'd to be sent to Lord _Galway's Army from _Alicant_. This Detachment, missing of that intended Prize, was returning very disconsolately, _Re infecta_; when their Captain, observing that careless and disorderly March of the _English_, resolv'd, boldly enough, to attack them in the Wood. To that Purpose he secreted his little Party behind a great Barn; and so soon as they were half passed by, he falls upon 'em in the Center with his Dragoons, cutting and slashing at such a violent Rate, that he soon dispersed the whole Regiment, leaving many dead and wounded upon the Spot. The three Colours were taken; and the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel taken out of his Chaise, and carried away Prisoner with many others; only one Officer who was an Ensign, and so bold as to do his Duty, was kill'd.

The Lieutenant who commanded the Granadiers, received the Alarm time enough to draw his Men into a House in their way; where he bravely defended himself for a long Time; but being killed, the rest immediately surrender'd. The Account of this Action I had from the Commander of the Enemy's Party himself, some Time after, while I was a Prisoner. And Captain _Mahoni_, who was present when the News was brought, that a few _Spanish Dragoons had defeated an _English Regiment, which was this under _Bateman_, protested to me, that the Duke of _Berwick turn'd pale at the Relation; and when they offer'd to bring the Colours before him, he would not so much as see them. A little before the Duke went to Supper, _Bateman himself was brought to him, but the Duke turn'd away from him without any further Notice than coldly saying, that _he thought he was very strangely taken_. The Wags of the Army made a thorough jest of him, and said his military Conduct was of a piece with his Oeconomy, having two Days before this March, sent his young handsome Wife into _England_, under the Guardship of the young Chaplain of the Regiment.

_April 15. In the Year 1707, being _Easter Monday_, we had in the Morning a flying Report in _Alicant_, that there had been the Day before a Battle at _Almanza_, between the Army under the Command of the Duke of _Berwick_, and that of the _English_, under Lord _Galway_, in which the latter had suffer'd an entire Defeat. We at first gave no great Credit to it: But, alas, we were too soon woefully convinced of the Truth of it, by Numbers that came flying to us from the conquering Enemy. Then indeed we were satisfied of Truths, too difficult before to be credited. But as I was not present in that calamitous Battle, I shall relate it, as I received it from an Officer then in the Duke's Army.

To bring the Lord _Galway to a Battle, in a Place most commodious for his purpose, the Duke made use of this Stratagem: He ordered two _Irishmen_, both Officers, to make their way over to the Enemy as Deserters; putting this Story in their Mouths, that the Duke of _Orleans was in a full March to join the Duke of _Berwick with twelve thousand Men; that this would be done in two Days, and that then they would find out the Lord _Galway_, and force him to Fight, where-ever they found him.

Lord _Galway_, who at this Time lay before _Villena_, receiving this Intelligence from those well instructed Deserters, immediately rais'd the Siege; with a Resolution, by a hasty March, to force the Enemy to Battle, before the Duke of _Orleans should be able to join the Duke of _Berwick_. To effect this, after a hard March of three long _Spanish Leagues in the heat of the Day; he appears a little after Noon in the face of the Enemy with his fatigu'd Forces. Glad and rejoyc'd at the Sight, for he found his Plot had taken; _Berwick_, the better to receive him, draws up his Army in a half Moon, placing at a pretty good Advance three Regiments to make up the Centre, with express Order, nevertheless, to retreat at the very first Charge. All which was punctually observ'd, and had its desired Effect; For the three Regiments, at the first Attack gave way, and seemingly fled towards their Camp; the _English_, after their customary Manner, pursuing them with Shouts and Hollowings. As soon as the Duke of _Berwick perceiv'd his Trap had taken, he order'd his right and left Wings to close; by which Means, he at once cut off from the rest of their Army all those who had so eagerly pursu'd the imaginary Runaways. In short, the Rout was total, and the most fatal Blow that ever the _English receiv'd during the whole War with _Spain_. Nor, as it is thought, with a great probability of Reason, had those Troops that made their Retreat to the Top of the Hills, under Major General _Shrimpton_, met with any better Fate than those on the Plain, had the _Spaniards had any other General in the Command than the Duke of _Berwick_; whose native Sympathy gave a check to the Ardour of a victorious Enemy. And this was the sense of the _Spaniards themselves after the Battle. Verifying herein that noble Maxim, _That Victory to generous Minds is only an Inducement to Moderation_.

The Day after this fatal Battle (which gave occasion to a _Spanish piece of Wit, _that the English General had routed the French_) the Duke of _Orleans did arrive indeed in the Camp, but with an Army of only fourteen Attendants.

The fatal Effects of this Battle were soon made visible, and to none more than those in _Alicant_. The Enemy grew every Day more and more troublesome; visiting us in Parties more boldly than before: and often hovering about us so very near, that with our Cannon we could hardly teach 'em to keep a proper Distance. _Gorge the Governor of _Alicant being recall'd into _England_, Major General _Richards was by King _Charles appointed Governor in his Place. He was a Roman Catholick, and very much belov'd by the Natives on that Account; tho' to give him his due, he behaved himself extremely well in all other Respects. It was in his Time, that a Design was laid of surprising _Guardamere_, a small Sea-port Town, in _Murcia_: But the military Bishop (for he was in a literal Sense excellent _tam Marte, quam Mercurio_, among his many others Exploits), by a timely Expedition, prevented that.

Governor _Richards_, my Post being always in the Castle, had sent to desire me to give notice whenever I saw any Parties of the Enemy moving. Pursuant to this Order, discovering one Morning a considerable body of Horse towards _Elsha_, I went down into the Town, and told the Governor what I had seen; and without any delay he gave his Orders, that a Captain with threescore Men should attend me to an old House about a Mile distance. As soon as we had got into it, I set about barricading all the open Places, and Avenues, and put my Men in a Posture ready to receive an Enemy, as soon as he should appear; upon which the Captain, as a feint, ordered a few of his men to shew themselves on a rising Ground just before the House. But we had like to have caught a Tartar: For tho' the Enemy took the Train I had laid, and on sight of our small Body on the Hill, sent a Party from their greater Body to intercept them, before they could reach the Town; yet the Sequel prov'd, we had mistaken their Number and it soon appeared to be much greater than we at first imagin'd. However our Out-scouts, as I may call 'em, got safe into the House; and on the Appearance of the Party, we let fly a full Volly, which laid dead on the Spot three Men and one Horse. Hereupon the whole Body made up to the House, but stood a-loof upon the Hill without reach of our Shot. We soon saw our Danger from the number of the Enemy: And well for us it was, that the watchful Governor had taken notice of it, as well as we in the House. For observing us surrounded with the Enemy, and by a Power so much superior, he marched himself with a good part of the Garrison to our Relief. The Enemy stood a little time as if they would receive 'em; but upon second thoughts they retir'd; and to our no little Joy left us at Liberty to come out of the House and join the Garrison.

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